School Security: Welsh Primaries Fork Out £91,000 For Hi-Tech Fences After Arsonist Attacks
Primary schools in Wales are having costly security fences installed after a string of attacks by arsonists and vandals but officials say the move will divert "scarce resources" away from education funds.
The seven schools in Swansea have been plagued by burglaries and unprovoked assaults on their buildings, including lead stolen off roofs, windows smashed and a summer house wrecked, the South Wales Evening Post reported.
The £91,000 needed to pay for the fences and gates looks likely be taken out of Swansea Council's budget although the local authorities have asked the Welsh Government to provide the funds.
"I am sad we are having to bring forward this report," council cabinet member for education Mike Day told the local paper. "It means diverting scarce resources away from education provision."
"Basically we have to provide protection for these schools," he added.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said the responsibility for ensuring schools were a safe and secure environment for pupils and staff lay with the local authority and school governing bodies.
"Deciding what safeguards are necessary and how they are implemented is a matter for them to determine at local level.
"Since 2007/8, the Welsh Government has provided grant funding of £2.05m from our fire and community safety budgets, which include target hardening measures such as security gates and CCTV."